Call: European Union, H2020-IND-CE-2016-17, Topic: SPIRE-09-2017
Official website: https://www.demeto.eu
Join the chemical recycling revolution
DEMETO is a revolutionary new way to chemically recycle PET in a highly profitable and environmentally sustainable way. DEMETO will enable the chemical de-polymerization of PET at industrial scale thanks to its microwave-based process intensification.
DEMETO is a European Project and has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The 14 partners that form the DEMETO consortium are from all over Europe and share the common vision that DEMETO will help to create a more sustainable world.
Modular, Scalable and High-Performance Depolymerization by Microwave Technology
Nowadays, Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)-based waste streams are mainly treated by means of mechanical processes, aimed at recovering plastic solid waste (PSW) for re-use; because of the degradation and heterogeneity of PSW, only single-polymer plastics can be processed, thus excluding all the more complex and contaminated waste. Quality is the main issue when dealing with mechanically recycled products, which, in the end, could just be burned or landfilled disposed.
The Prospect of DEMETO
With the prospect of establishing a comprehensive feedback loop within the PET value chain, directly “from grave to cradle” (inverting on purpose the well-established wording of LCA), DEMETO offers a huge business opportunity to interested companies.
The technology, industrialised by the project, enables the creation of a new source of raw materials for the plastics market that has the guarantee of strong advantage over the currently existing main alternatives: direct monomers production from fossil fuel and mechanical elaboration of waste to offer R-PET.
The core mission of the project is therefore to enable chemical de-polymerization of PET at industrial scale thanks to its microwave-based process intensification, closing its life-cycle through a circular economy value chain, reducing plastics market dependency from natural resources and improving drastically the environmental footprint of PET production by revolutionizing the paradigm of its recycling.
The Objectives of DEMETO
Build a full and industrial-grade pilot plant of the de-polymerization process, having a gr3n Reactive Unite at its core, while optimising the purification steps.
Exploit immediately the mature market of the packaging waste, while preparing the technology transfer to the huge and unexplored polyester/textile value chain.
Enable a fully circular economic approach to reduce the environmental footprint of PET production and usage by more than 50% .
DEMETO's Core Reactor
DEMETO proposes a highly innovative approach to the Process Intensification of the chemical recycling reaction (de-polymerization) of PET plastic waste. The adoption of microwave radiations as energetic catalyser allows DEMETO to reduce reaction time and the complexity of the purification steps of PTA, while increasing productivity through a continuous process (instead of the batch ones typical of the industrial state-of-the-art).
DEMETO's Core Concept
Already patented at international level and validated at different TRLs, the major strength of DEMETO’s core concept is the adoption of a full process approach that, embedding at its heart the process intensifying MW-based reaction, then proposes a completely self-contained post-processing unit whose outputs, apart from the virgin-grade EG and PTA raw materials, will generate directly feedstock for the overall de-polymerization process.
In order to guarantee the objectives' achievement and to efficiently and effectively manage it, a coherent 36-month work plan has been devised. The DEMETO project is organised through 9 work-packages (WPs): WP1 is dedicated to project management and WP9 to exploitation and dissemination, while the WPs from 2 to 8 implement the project's technological advancements, with WP7 dedicated to the realisation of the pilot plant and WP8 specifically devoted to the demonstration of the project approach effectiveness.